From November through the winter, radio silence from Arlington Heights and the Chicago Bears surrounded developments at the forefront of stadium construction at Arlington Park.
“It is very possible there will be no additional information on this project until the Chicago Bears Football Club makes a decision and an announcement on whether or not they will purchase the property,” Village Manager Randy Racklaus wrote in an email to NBC Sports Chicago back in November.
Since the leaves turned green, more ongoing developments have emerged surrounding the stadium. The primary, ongoing checkbox has been the Bears’ attempt at lowering the assessed value of the property in an attempt to lower their annual tax bill, as part of ongoing amendment hearings with the Illinois House’s executive committee.
MORE: Proposed Bears stadium bills remain sidelined
A proposed 30 percent of ticket revenue and a $3 tax bill on all tickets will go to surrounding school districts in the area. Hence, the schools set a value of the property close to what the Bears paid for, at $197 million. That valuation would place their tax bill close to $16.2 million per year.
Conversely, the Bears countered with a $52.5 million valuation, deflating their proposed tax bill to $4.3 million per season. They cited the extensive amount of work that needed to be done as part of their counterargument.
Part of that work includes demolition, which the Bears filed the necessary paperwork for in early May. The destruction will cost roughly $3.8 million to knock the grandstand and necessary buildings at the racecourse.
MORE: Report: Demolition at Arlington Park will cost $3.8 million
The wrecking ball will act literally on the current structure, and metaphorically on the Bears’ tax bill. Tearing down the active building will supposedly lower the property’s value and save the Bears tax money in the long run, despite forking up $3.8 million now.
Moving forward, the Illinois House’s executive committee will hold hearings on several amendments to a proposed Chicago Bears stadium construction project. One of the amendments includes the valuation of the property.
Expect to hear news of more amendment changes as part of developing stadium news.
The citizens of Arlington Heights say the Bears have yet to construct thorough plans for controlling the high volume of expected traffic, as well as infrastructure strains around the area.
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Here's where things stand with Bears, Arlington Heights – NBC Sports